Bank of Dave: Standing between the powerful and the powerless

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The tiny Gardeners’ Cottage boasted a very comfortable king size bed, a massive walk in shower and generous home made scones with lashings of jam and cream. However, the TV in the corner of the lounge, was about the size of a postage stamp. This crushing disappointment was nicely off set by the discovery that access to Netflix was included in the cost of the accommodation. Twenty minutes of head scratching and a fairly intense scrolling session followed.

Given an unlimited choice, selecting a film can be a lengthy random exercise. Have we heard of it? Have we heard of anybody in it? How many stars does it have? How many people have rated it? What rating did it get? And an important but heavily biased question, is it British? And of course the ruthless fifteen minute rule applies. With very few exceptions, if we don’t get drawn into the plot line within the first fifteen minutes the selection process reluctantly restarts.

When I watch a film I want to like the characters. I want to care about the characters and what happens to them. If possible, I want to relate to the characters. I want them to be real and convincing. These requirements can sometimes limit my ability to sit all the way through to the end of a film. After all, why would I spend my Friday evening with folks I don’t even like? These lengthy deliberations finally resulted in a unanimous decision to settle down with the heart warming British comedy Bank of Dave.

Bank of Dave is based on the true story of Dave Fishwick, a businessman who takes on London’s elite bankers. Full disclosure: Bank of Dave is set in the northern town of Burnley. I’m familiar with this part of the world and visit there frequently as some of my nearest and dearest live there. With my northern bias fully ramped up, and my interest piqued, I was raring to go and open to liking the characters in Bank of Dave from the very beginning. In fact, I liked nearly all the characters, plus extra bonus points, I cared about what happened to them too.

Hugh Bonneville pulled off the role of the deliciously detestable villain, Sir Charles, in perhaps his poshest part ever.

It took me about three seconds to get used to seeing Rory Kinnear playing the northerner Dave Fishwick, but I was soon rooting for him all the way. Was I rooting for him because I too am a northerner? Maybe a little bit, but mostly I was rooting for his character because he’s the archetypal good guy in the archetypal battle between good and evil. He’s a modern day Robin Hood, a David taking shots at Goliath. He’s a working class bloke taking on the London establishment, and northerners are always up for watching that kind of sport especially if there’s the faintest chance we might actually win.

It was fun trying to spot familiar places in Burnley, even though I understand that much of the filming actually took place in Leeds and Bradford. Hey ho. The friendliness and warmth of the north was portrayed to my complete satisfaction. I was also drawn into another satisfying sub-plot. Two of the supporting characters engage in a gentle will-they-won’t-they romance story. This is a welcome non-banking related distraction which trundles along at a pleasing pace throughout the movie.

Bank of Dave is an easy watch. It highlights that much lamented north south divide, the need for outlaws who will stand between the powerful and the powerless, while reminding us that greed is bad and kindness and generosity are good. You can’t really argue with that can you?

Bank of Dave is available on Netflix and DVD.

All Photo Credits: Courtesy of hughbonneville.uk

Val Fraser

Val Fraser is a trained journalist with over 12 years’ experience working on staff in various demanding media environments. She has authored/edited thousands of articles including news, travel and features. Val has authored/contributed to nine non-fiction books. A regular columnist, she stepped up to the role of Digital Editor in September 2022 and is responsible for the Sorted Magazine website.
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